Local Employers Get A Look Into 148th Fighter Wing Life

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: September 13, 2018 07:21 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - Local businesses and agencies visited the 148th Fighter Wing Thursday to get a tour of the base and learn about what their employees and service members do on the job.


The employment appreciation ‘Boss lift’ event gave 25 local employers who hire service members assigned to the 148th Fighter Wing a personal look at what they do when they serve at home and away. 

The event is sponsored by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve(ESGR).

"We were able to show them our jets and show them a lot of our mission. We brought them out to our fire hall and so they've been thrilled to see what our wing members get to do on a regular bases,” Master Sgt. Megan Shaner, said.

Employers like Sappi have about a dozen employees who are guard members.

"All the training and dedication and time away from family and friends. There’s a lot of dedication that you can see here. A lot of hard work that goes into it,” Andy Biondich, an employee for the Sappi safety office, said.

The event was also an opportunity for the national guard to thank employers for their unconditional support.

"We really appreciate all of the employers that support our guardsmen. Especially in a year where we have served our country with so many of our guardsmen being deployed and away from their work place,” Col. Troy Havener, said.

More than 500 members of the 148th Fighter Wing recently returned home from three to six month deployments overseas.

"When they're off on guard duty or are deployed, we just know that they're not there. A lot of people don't get to see what we're getting to see today,” Biondich said.

The boss lift was an eye-opener for employers about the vital role guard members represent not only in their civilian job, but also in serving the country.

"The part time guardsman is really the epitome of service before self in that they have a full and busy life as an employee and a family member, but they also are a full time member of the military,” Havener said.

The tour wrapped up with employers truly experiencing the name of the event, a boss lift, when employers were given a lift on a KC-135 Stratotanker.

"My hope is that it's just a really positive experience for them. That they feel now their own sense of ownership in the wing. That they feel a community pride that we share at the 148th that kind of just continues into their workplace,” Shaner said.


Alejandra Palacios

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